State of Virginia Archives: on Education


Robert Sarvis: Bad schools persist because politicians are in charge

Education is fundamental to Virginia's prosperity. Top-rate schools attract businesses and prepare our children for success. Unfortunately, our antiquated, top-down school system is increasingly misaligned with the future challenges young Virginians will face. Too many students graduate high school without life and job skills needed to succeed. Many others don't graduate at all.

Why does the status quo continue? Because politicians and bureaucrats are in charge, not parents and teachers. To prepare our children for the real world, we need to adopt a modern approach that is proven to work and built to last. This means two things:

  1. Parents, not politicians or bureaucrats, should be in charge of the education dollars spent on their children.
  2. Teachers need to be liberated from the politicized, bureaucratic status quo and rewarded for the educational value--student learning--they create.
Source: 2013 Virginia Governor campaign website, robertsarvis.com Sep 21, 2013

Robert Sarvis: Supports vouchers, tax credit, charters, & parental triggers

Source: 2013 Virginia Governor campaign website, robertsarvis.com Sep 21, 2013

Bob McDonnell: Top Jobs for the 21st Century: STEM-H degrees

Top Jobs for the 21st Century: STEM-H degrees Our 2011 landmark "Top Jobs for the 21st Century" higher education reform legislation has made the college dream more affordable and accessible. Our bold statutory goal of 100,000 new degrees over the next 15 years, with a focus on Top Jobs for the 21st Century: STEM-H degrees 4%, after a decade of double digit increases. More diplomas mean more jobs!

We have increased the percentage of K-12 funding going into the classroom from 62% to 64%. Graduation rates are up.

Source: 2013 Virginia State of the State address Jan 9, 2013

Bob McDonnell: Zero tolerance policy for failing schools

Zero tolerance policy for failing schools Even in a state like ours with a very good public education system, some students are trapped in underperforming and unaccredited schools. This must end!

We now equip low performing schools with turnaround specialists and additional resources from the Zero tolerance policy for failing schools Institution to provide a high quality education alternative for children attending any chronically underperforming public elementary or secondary school. The Opportunity Educational Institution will be a new statewide school division to turnaround

Source: 2013 Virginia State of the State address Jan 9, 2013

Pat McGeehan: Vouchers to send children to any school

Q: Do you support the national Common Core State Standards initiative?

A: No.

Q: Do you support a merit pay system for teachers?

A: Yes.

Q: Is the tenure process for public school teachers producing effective teachers?

A: No.

Q: Should parents be allowed to use vouchers to send their children to any school?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support state funding for charter schools?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support the state government providing college students with financial aid?

A: No.

Q: hould illegal immigrants who graduate from West Virginia high schools be eligible for in-state tuition at public universities?

A: No.

McGeehan adds, "Government needs to remove itself from education."

Source: West Virginia Election 2012 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2012

Joe Manchin III: More accountability & more audits in the education system

Manchin brought up the importance of adding more accountability in the education system. "We have to start demanding more and more accountability, responsibility," said Manchin. "There is an audit going on in West Virginia now and I hope they adopt this audit in the legislature to make the changes that need to be made to improve education in the state of West Virginia."

Raese, on the other hand, said that competition is what's good for education. But he didn't stop there, he added that competition is also good for America and West Virginia.

Source: West Virginia MetroNews on 2012 W.V. Senate debate Oct 3, 2012

Joe Manchin III: Keep public education infrastructure strong

Manchin says the state can and needs to do much better on public education, but he wants to keep public education infrastructure strong. "I don't believe in getting rid of the Department of Education," Manchin said.

Raese wants more opportunities for programs that would allow families a voucher to send their children to private schools, which he says create competition and improve the quality of education. "We don't need a federal education system to set our curriculum," Raese said.

Source: West Virginia Public Broadcasting on 2012 W.V. Senate debate Oct 3, 2012

John Raese: Competition is what's good for education

Manchin brought up the importance of adding more accountability in the education system. "We have to start demanding more and more accountability, responsibility," said Manchin. "There is an audit going on in West Virginia now and I hope they adopt this audit in the legislature to make the changes that need to be made to improve education in the state of West Virginia."

Raese, on the other hand, said that competition is what's good for education. But he didn't stop there, he added that competition is also good for America and West Virginia.

Source: West Virginia MetroNews on 2012 W.V. Senate debate Oct 3, 2012

John Raese: Allow families a voucher to send kids to private schools

Manchin says the state can and needs to do much better on public education, but he wants to keep public education infrastructure strong. "I don't believe in getting rid of the Department of Education," Manchin said.

Raese wants more opportunities for programs that would allow families a voucher to send their children to private schools, which he says create competition and improve the quality of education. "We don't need a federal education system to set our curriculum," Raese said.

Source: West Virginia Public Broadcasting on 2012 W.V. Senate debate Oct 3, 2012

Jamie Radtke: Would vote against No Child Left Behind as too expensive

Tea Party activist Jamie Radtke hit the former one-term senator for voting to add an expensive prescription drug program to Medicare and backing No Child Left Behind, two initiatives sought by Republican President George W. Bush. "Tim Kaine will not run to the right of me on spending," Radtke said, subtly criticizing the budgets Allen voted for during his previous Senate term.

For the most part, the four candidates found common ground on a number of issues, including their shared desire to shift more of the responsibility for education to the states.

Kaine's campaign responded to the repeated criticism following the debate. "Virginia voters heard the Tea Party contenders push reckless economic policies that would damage Virginia's economy, create more uncertainty for our businesses, and make our nation less globally competitive," a Kaine spokeswoman said.

Source: Washington Examiner on 2012 Virginia Senate debate May 25, 2012

George Allen: Froze college tuition while governor

Allen spent most of his time criticizing Kaine for supporting increased spending and chastised him for serving as chairman of the Democratic National Committee. He told the audience that while he froze college tuition as the state's chief executive, Kaine increased it by 33 percent. But Allen did take a moment to defend himself [from attacks as a big spender], saying he supported a balanced-budget amendment and a line-item veto.
Source: Washington Post on 2012 Virginia Senate debate May 11, 2012

George Allen: Lower student loan rates; freeze tuition rates

George Allen's campaign says that the former senator supports extending lower interest rates for student loans. The campaign also said that Allen supports the federal government playing a part in student loans.

Student loans have quickly become a hot button issue for candidates nationally and here in the Commonwealth. At Saturday's Republican Senate Debate in Roanoke candidates Bob Marshall, E.W. Jackson, and Jamie Radtke all came out forcefully saying the federal government should be out of the student loan business. "When you have the federal government giving loans it does artificially inflate prices and tuitions for schools," Radtke said.

George Allen was quiet on the issue saying only he wants to freeze tuition costs and make college more affordable.

Source: WSLS-10 Roanaoke on 2012 Virginia Senate debate May 5, 2012

Jamie Radtke: Feds should not be in the student loan business

George Allen's campaign says that the former senator supports extending lower interest rates for student loans. The campaign also said that Allen supports the federal government playing a part in student loans.

Student loans have quickly become a hot button issue for candidates nationally and here in the Commonwealth. At Saturday's Republican Senate Debate in Roanoke candidates Bob Marshall, E.W. Jackson, and Jamie Radtke all came out forcefully saying the federal government should be out of the student loan business. "When you have the federal government giving loans it does artificially inflate prices and tuitions for schools," Radtke said.

George Allen was quiet on the issue saying only he wants to freeze tuition costs and make college more affordable.

Source: WSLS-10 Roanaoke on 2012 Virginia Senate debate May 5, 2012

Tim Kaine: More student loan interest cuts; more tuition assistance

Student loans have quickly become a hot button issue for candidates nationally and here in the Commonwealth. At Saturday's Republican Senate Debate in Roanoke candidates Bob Marshall, E.W. Jackson, and Jamie Radtke all came out forcefully saying the federal government should be out of the student loan business. 10 On Your Side also contacted Democratic senate candidate Tim Kaine, who supports extending interest rate cuts to student loans and increasing tuition assistance at the state level.
Source: WSLS-10 Roanaoke on 2012 Virginia Senate debate May 5, 2012

Tim Kaine: FactCheck: Cut college funding & led to 30% tuition increase

Allen said: "What Tim Kaine did is he cut higher ed funding, and tuition increased in colleges by over 30% and that, of course, hurt families."

Former Gov. Kaine inherited a $1.45 billion budget for higher education costs when he came into office. In his farewell budget, Kaine recommended $1.37 billion in higher education funding for fiscal 2012. So over the span, Kaine supported a 5.7% cut. It's important to remember that Kaine was battling a severe recession at the end of his term.

Average in-state tuition and instructional fees at Virginia's four-year colleges rose 31.2% during Kaine's 2006-2010 gubernatorial term. At community colleges, those costs increased 24.5%. Tuition also rose nationwide.

We rated a similar Republican claim against Kaine's higher education record Mostly True. We deducted points because the claim places all the blame on Kaine without acknowledging that his funding levels for college won broad bipartisan support.

Source: PolitiFact.com 2012 Senate FactCheck: Virginia debate Apr 30, 2012

Natalie Tennant: Address numerous small reforms, not huge sweeping measures

Q: What are your plans when it comes to education reform?

A: Education is near and dear to my heart. It's who I am and how I was raised. My dad is a retired principal. My mom is a retired teacher. I'm the youngest of 7 children, and including my siblings and their spouses, 11 out of 14 of them are educators. So I hear what is taking place on the front lines. Some of the reforms that I see that are important are [not] these huge, sweeping measures. But they can be truancy; let's address that. Let's address discipline because teachers need to be able to have the control in their classroom, and they need backup. I'm about using technology, but it doesn't do you any good if the teachers don't know how to use it. I also think it's important that we are holding teachers accountable. Another reform is innovation zones. Those are the different aspects that I talk about education, but paramount is believing we can have the best system and then all working together to get there.

Source: The Register-Herald: West Virginia gubernatorial profiles Apr 25, 2011

Natalie Tennant: Public moneys should go to public schools, not charters

Q: How do you feel about the concept of charter schools?

A: I know that is a question I get from everybody. Charter schools, in terms of education, are not going to be the panacea. But I always believe that if you're using public moneys, they should go to public schools to serve the public. That's why I push innovation zones more than anything. It is a group coming together to say, "This is how we want to conduct our education.".

Q: What would you do to reverse this alarming dropout rate in West Virginia?

A: A couple of years ago, we had a system where social workers would make the phone call [about truancy]. It is no longer funded. We have to put most of our budget into education. Because we're either going to pay for it now or we're going to pay for it later. Even when we talk about education, too, we have wonderful vo-tech schools here across West Virginia. We have wonderful community and technical colleges and trade schools. Those are aspects where we can keep kids in schools.

Source: The Register-Herald: West Virginia gubernatorial profiles Apr 25, 2011

Joe Manchin III: $540 million in ongoing school construction

Last July, WV became the first state to use the Qualified School Construction Bonds statewide, letting us build or improve dozens of schools at a much lower cost. We currently have $540 million in ongoing school construction--the largest amount in the history of the School Building Authority, but much more needs to be done.

I am asking the Legislature to give the SBA more borrowing flexibility. This will allow us to create a steady revenue stream and provide safer schools at cheaper bond rates.

Source: West Virginia 2010 State of the State Address Jan 13, 2010

Bob McDonnell: Supports charter schools

On transportation, Deeds said he would bring lawmakers together during his first year to come up with a solution and criticized McDonnell's plan for diverting money from schools, something Deeds said he would not do.

In a debate that touched on taxes, gun control, abortion, education and same-sex marriage, it was McDonnell who praised Obama and Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D), commending the former for championing charter schools and the latter for his handling of the 2007 shootings at Virginia Tech.

Source: Washington Post coverage: 2009 Virginia gubernatorial debate Jul 25, 2009

Creigh Deeds: Don't divert money from schools, even in recession

On transportation, Deeds said he would bring lawmakers together during his first year to come up with a solution and criticized McDonnell's plan for diverting money from schools, something Deeds said he would not do.

In a debate that touched on taxes, gun control, abortion, education and same-sex marriage, it was McDonnell who praised Obama and Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D), commending the former for championing charter schools and the latter for his handling of the 2007 shootings at Virginia Tech.

Source: Washington Post coverage: 2009 Virginia gubernatorial debate Jul 25, 2009

Creigh Deeds: Require that teacher salaries be above the national average

Creigh's priorities in education are clear: ensuring access to a quality pre-kindergarten program, increasing the number of Virginia students pursuing higher education and taking care of Virginia's teachers who spend each day in the classroom caring for our children.

In recent years the average teacher salary in Virginia has lagged behind other states. Each year, talented and dedicated teachers leave Virginia classrooms for better-paying positions in North Carolina and other surrounding states. According to the National Education Association, in 2006-2007 Virginia ranked 31st in the nation in average teacher salary, down from 20th in the nation as recently as 2004.

We can do better. That is why Senator Deeds wrote legislation requiring our teacher's salaries be no less then the national average. Virginia's teachers deserve better and Senator Deeds has made it a priority to ensure that we take care of the teachers who are taking care of our children.

Source: 2009 Gubernatorial campaign website www.deedsforvirginia.com Jul 21, 2009

Bob Wise: First priority: PROMISE College Scholarship Program

Our passport to prosperity is education - and education is the centerpiece of my program. My first priority is funding for the PROMISE Scholarship Program. This will provide each qualified student who works hard and plays by the rules with a scholarship at one of our state colleges, or an equivalent scholarship to be used at a West Virginia accredited program. This Legislature has already passed the basic legislation, but there hasn’t been any money provided to keep the PROMISE. It has to happen.
Source: 2001 State of the State Address to West Virginia Legislature Feb 14, 2001

Bob Wise: Raise teacher salaries by $1,000; plus $2,500 in incentives

Teachers are the heart of the educational system. We must honor the work of our teachers. Therefore I propose to increase the salary of every West Virginia teacher by $1,000, and every school service worker’s salary by $756, effective January 1, 2002.

Let me speak directly to our educators. Your salaries have fallen to below 40th place in the nation. I commit to you tonight a multiyear effort to begin moving you back up the national ladder. We need to do more to keep the best and the brightest educators in our schools. I will commit to working with you on a strategy to develop incentives to keep experienced teachers in class longer.

Source: 2001 State of the State Address to West Virginia Legislature Feb 14, 2001

Mark Warner: Involve whole communities in schools

Schools have the special responsibility of equipping young people with the skills they need to succeed. But schools cannot do it alone. Whole communities must be involved, from the groups that run after school activities to the businesses that understand the skills that today’s employers demand. [I support] Communities in Schools, Inc., a nationwide initiative that connects schools with community resources to help people learn, stay in school and prepare for life.
Source: MarkWarner2001.org, “Bringing Virginia Together” Jan 8, 2001

  • The above quotations are from Commonwealth of Virginia Politicians: Archives.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Education.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
2012 Presidential contenders on Education:
  Democrats:
Pres.Barack Obama(IL)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)

Republicans:
Gov.Mitt Romney(MA)
Rep.Paul Ryan(WI)
Third Parties:
Green: Dr.Jill Stein(MA)
Libertarian: Gov.Gary Johnson(NM)
Justice: Mayor Rocky Anderson(UT)
Constitution: Rep.Virgil Goode(VA)
Peace+Freedom: Roseanne Barr(HI)
Reform Party: André Barnett(NY)
AmericansElect: Gov.Buddy Roemer(LA)
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Page last updated: Jan 11, 2014